258 pages, 16 photos
$24.95 hardcover (ISBN 978-1-890689-26-1)
FINALIST, 2007 BEST BOOKS USA BOOK NEWS
FINALIST, 2007 NEW MEXICO BOOK AWARDS
SILVER MEDALIST-HISTORICAL FICTION, 2007 BOOKS OF THE YEAR, FOREWORD MAGAZINE
FINALIST, 2007 SOUTHWEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR, TUCSON-PIMA PUBLIC LIBRARY SYSTEM
FINALIST-HISTORICAL FICTION, 2008 INDIE EXCELLENCE BOOK AWARDS
Avenging Victorio has received a rave review on Readerviews.com on August 14, 2007:
Dave DeWitt’s “Avenging Victorio” is a simply splendid account of Apache insurgency in New Mexico in 1881. Although written as a novel, and therefore falling into the category of fiction, it gives the impression of standing firmly on its foundation of extensive research and extraordinary sensibility of the author for a quite sensitive situation.
After the death of one of the great Apache chiefs, Victorio, the U.S. Army believes the Apaches to be completely defeated. The event is even celebrated under the thin guise of a Governor’s Christmas party, where the official hostess is no other than Evelyn Hatch, wife of Colonel Edward T. Hatch, former General in the great Civil War. The settlers in the New Mexico Territory expected the danger to be over, convinced that there is nobody strong enough to organize the Apaches again. Little did they know….
Nana, the 74-year-old war chief, takes on the task of avenging Victorio and, with his rag-tag group of warriors, sweeps through New Mexico in a series of guerilla warfare raids, killing civilians and evading the Cavalry as well as the legendary Buffalo Soldiers. The insurgency is a success, the battle is won – but we all know that the war was lost as far as the Indians were concerned.
Dave DeWitt created engaging and believable characters on both sides of the conflict, showing their motivation and their beliefs. The parts of the book that truly surprised me and that turned out to be my favorites are those that deal with the customs and traditional ways of the Apaches. There are tales and legends and vivid descriptions of bathing and fighting and dancing…and courting and dreams… and even a hidden treasure. So the book that I expected to be just a historical novel about the early days of New Mexico turned into a well-rounded volume about fighters on both sides of the encounter as well as a very eye-opening read about the Apache culture and customs. I also greatly enjoyed the 16 photographs which wonderfully illustrated both the setting and the participants in this epic confrontation.
Dave DeWitt’s “Avenging Victorio” is an enthralling book, which grabs you quickly and does not let go. If you are like me, your only disappointment will be that it ends too quickly. -- Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (8/07)